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Job Descriptions vs. Job Postings


When you hear the phrase “job descriptions” and “job postings,” you probably think they’re the same thing. However, they’re actually two sides of the same coin. Each one has an important role to play. Both are needed to accomplish your goal: attract potential candidates.

Whether you use the terms interchangeably isn’t an issue, but you do need to know the difference before getting ready to hire. We’re going to go over both terms, highlight the differences and show how to utilize both effectively.

Job Descriptions

A job description is an internal document hiring managers and employees use that goes over a specific role. It sets in place what the employee’s duties and responsibilities are, their goals, expectations, and skill sets required. It also answers who to report to, salary expectations, and how their role fits into the company as a whole.

Most importantly, job descriptions help your business remain in compliance with state and federal labor laws. They’re also a great tool in providing guidelines and expectations when it comes to employee performance reviews. Companies should keep all of their job description files. But only for internal use.

Job Postings

A job posting is an external document hiring managers use for recruiting efforts. An effective job post should tell the audience who your company is and why they should come work for you. This is a marketing tool for the job description rather than posting the entire internal document.

Instead of copying and pasting the job description, your job ad should be short and should sell the company. Include the basic duties and responsibilities for the job and the requirements needed for the position. Next, provide the salary, benefits package and any bonuses or perks that the company offers its’ employees. Get in a candidate’s shoes and think of WIIFM: “What’s in it for me?”

Wrapping it up

While the terms job description and posting are frequently used together, that doesn’t mean that the two documents are interchangeable. Job descriptions explain job details within the company, while job ads sell people on the job. A good job description (a detailed internal document) doesn’t make for a good job post (a brief marketing tool). Remember to think like a candidate and ask WIIFM!

You know, we’re pretty good job posters ourselves! If you’re needing help writing a great job description or recruiting candidates to your company, we want to help. You can reach out to us online or call us at 501-801-8061 for all of your recruiting needs!

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